Here's a list of tracks and notes on the selections. We never had the space
to put this information in the cassette packaging itself, so we're fortunate
to be able to document things here on this web page.
Side A - Sampler:
(2:53) Kesh Jig / Kid on the Mountain / Jump at the Sun
This set of jigs was inspired by the Bothy Band, whose rendition of
the Kesh Jig has yet to be matched by any other performers. Howard tries
his hand at the harmony line here. Kid on the Mountain is a favorite slip
jig. It's particularly interesting because it's actually quite challenging
to dance a slip jig step to this tune. We finish this set with Jump at
the Sun, a Welsh jig we learned from Kate Price, a wonderful musician and
a dear friend.
(2:58) Auchindoun / Tam Lin (lyrics)
This brooding song features Heather on the lead, with Gretchen joining
in for added angst. The song itself recalls a typically bloody episode
in Scottish history, where members of the MacIntosh clan, returning from
a raid on an English garrison, discover that their own homes have been
sacked by the English army. We follow up that desperate situation with
another; Tam Lin is a character from an old Scottish legend. He was captured
by the Fairy Queen, and doomed to spend the rest of eternity under her
spell, but eventually was rescued by his true love.
(1:45) The Ash Grove
This lovely Welsh melody features Bill on penny whistle, with Linda
leading on fiddle, Ken on guitar, and Howard on mandolin. Bill and Linda
worked out an absolutely gorgeous duet here, elevating a simple tune into
a spine-tingling religious experience.
(2:29) Farewell to Erin
A very well known reel, capturing the sentiments of Irish emigrants
forced to leave their homes in Ireland. This one tends to draw a
bit of bile when played in Ireland.
(1:46) Farewell / Four Green Fields (lyrics)
Farewell is an old pipe tune we learned from Pat
MacSwyney, another great musician and a former member of Highland Sun.
It's actually a dirge, but we play it a bit faster to keep the accompanying
song from killing the singers. Four Green Fields is a well-known song by
Tommy Makem which laments the division of Ireland. Gretchen leads on this
song, with Heather adding the harmony.
(2:03) Jig of Slurs / Atholl Highlanders
Two grand old Scottish jigs. This set has always started our shows,
but we figured we'd put them in last on the tape for variety's sake. These
tunes came to the band through various and diverse paths, but it all seems
to come down to Linda bringing them first to the Scottish Fiddlers Society
of Los Angeles.
Side B - CD Preview:
All of the selections on Side A are abbreviated, in keeping with our aim
of producing a demo / sampler recording. As such, repeats are skipped,
variations are cut out, and song verses are cut. The selections on Side
B are full length, pretty much as we would have performed them live.
(4:43) Kesh Jig / Kid on the Mountain / Jump at the Sun
(4:13) Farewell / Four Green Fields (lyrics)
(4:13) Farewell to Erin / Tam Lin
Ian Abramovitch - bodhran,
Howard Chu - fiddle, mandolin
Heather Greene - vocal
Linda Kodaira - fiddle
Bill Marks - guitar, mandolin,
Ken Shaw - cello, cittern,
guitar, hammer dulcimer
Gretchen Witte - vocal
All selections are traditional unless otherwise noted; arrangements
Copyright © 1996 by Highland Sun. Four Green Fields written by Tommy
Makem. Tam Lin written by Davey Arther. Cover art, design and layout by
Howard Chu. Produced by Highland
Sun and John Hancock. Recorded and mixed by John Hancock at The Pobble's
Toes, Van Nuys, CA.
There are only a few copies of this tape left, and once they're gone
we won't be duplicating any more. So, if you'd like to order one, better
do it soon! You won't want to be without this snapshot of Highland Sun's
storied beginning... (See the Goodies page
for ordering info.)